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radon and other basement ideas

updated fri 31 may 96


Marvin Bartel on tue 28 may 96

Here's a basement downer. Some basements have radon. Your local
county health department can advise you about available kits to check it
out. Fix it or move out.
I have a theory that some sort of adversity or uncomfort can have a
positive effect ones creativity? A basement may help in that it limits
distractions. If the nature of my task is creativily challenging, it may
not matter whether or not I have a window and view. If I am working on
routine stuff, it is especially nice to have windows, books on tape,
interesting radio programs, T.V., and a limited amount of music.
For me the choice between working in a basement and working in a
nearby above ground studio has been matter of economics. I worked in home
basement studios for about 20 years, and produced some fine work there. The
high school where I started teaching had the ceramics in a remodeled
basement coal bin with no windows. The universities and college jobs I've
had happened to be in basement classroom/studios (with windows near the
ceiling). When I could finally get a loan to build my own space above
ground with a view, I did it. I can't say my work is better with a window,
but I definitely find it more pleasant and if my work is better, it is
because I have more room and a bigger kiln that is easier to get to.
This summer I hope to move this computer out of my basement. Our
radon reading is just over the recommended limit, so I'm doing some venting
on that also.
Marvin Bartel, Art Dept
Goshen College, Goshen, IN 46526